It's Christmas, which is for families, so they say ,and I've been thinking this morning about the family reunions that are going to be happening in the next week. This year we are Christmassing at my mum's house - last year had everyone at our new house in Cudworth, but due to various complications (including arrangments for cats) we've reverted back to Everton this year.
Reunion No 1
Whilst writing my Christmas cards last week I had to hunt for the address of the husband of my second and third cousin (yes, my second and third cousin is one and the same person - but wouldn't you just expect that I'd know a thing like that!). They moved last year and the card sent then had the new address in - but of course with one thing and another I hadn't copied it into my address book, so come this year I had to sort through the box of last year's cards to find it. When it eventually came to light I remembered that it had seemed another of those small world moments when I saw it last year ... they have moved to a small village just outside Retford, Ntt, not far from my mum.
Being a sad stalker I looked the address up on Google maps, but the village was really small and the houses don't have numbers, just names. It took a bit more research and some zooming in on the gate posts to find the right address. I decided not to post the card but to ask my mum if she wanted to detour via their house to hand deliver the card. I really enjoyed the company of the 2c'h (second cousin's husband) when we used to share our research into my dad's family. He even took me up to Durham a few times, which in my pre-employment, pre-car owing days, was a real treat. On one memorable occasion we collected my Dad along the way and got his first hand views of life in the mining village of Langley Park, near Durham City. We wandered down some odd country lanes looking for the ancestral farms of the Hall family and the 2c'h was cheeky enough to knock on doors and ask questions. When I started work full time in 2001 all expeditions had to stop though, and once I moved to Barnsley in 2004 I even stopped running into him at local history shows and in the library.
Last night my mum phoned him ... we are popping around to see him in a few hours. I wonder if he's still doing family history?
Reunion No 2
Tomorrow my daughter turns up here with her partner. We are planning an early Christmas with turkey and all the trimmings on Saturday before she and he have to drive south to spend the actual day with his parents. Not such a long time since I saw her of course, I saw her every day at the Great British Beer Festival in August at Olympia and briefly at a wedding do in September. And we do talk nearly every week on the phone.
Reunion No 3
The OH will pick up my son and his partner on Saturday morning from the other grandma's in Sheffield. I haven't seen him since they moved south to Bedfordshire in late August, but as we usually only communicate via Facebook it does seem like longer. He recently got a job in Charles Wells Brewery's office so things seem to be turning out well for them in the south. They are planning Christmas in Bedfordshire, so I'll only be seeing them for one day.
Will all the reunions go equally well? Hopefully ...